Gerhard Richter
[Artist, b. 1932, Dresden, lives in Düsseldorf.]

 I had had enough of bloody painting, and painting from a photograph seemed to me the most moronic thing that anyone could do. 
 Photography has almost no reality; it is almost a hundred percent picture. And painting always has reality... 
 Photography altered ways of seeing and thinking. Photographs were regarded as true, paintings as artificial. The painted picture was no longer credible; its representation froze into immobility, because it was not authentic but invented. 
 When I paint from a photograph, conscious thinking is eliminated. I don’t know what I am doing... The photograph has an abstraction of its own, which is not easy to see through. 
 To be filled with an idea is the greatest thing that can happen to me. Otherwise one is just empty. 
 I do not mean to attack anything at all. The most seemingly banal pictures are on the contrary the richest... A snapshot, when one conforms to it, becomes an extremely powerful factor... the family photo, with everyone well portrayed in the center of the image, is literally overflowing with life. 
 I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings. (Because style is violent, and I am not violent.) 
 I have taken an interest in photography because it illustrates reality so well. 
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